SUBMITTED BY DataServ

Since 2013, the non-profit organization LaunchCode has helped talented but inexperienced programmers get their foot in the door of the technology field by giving them an opportunity to land a paid apprenticeship at an established company that can lead to a full-time job and, ultimately, a long-term career. LaunchCode has made an enormous impact on the tech community in St. Louis and Miami, where it recently opened a second hub. LaunchCode’s scope has reached wider than just these two cities, however, as they have placed apprentices in 10 different states and are working to expand nationally.

DataServ is proud to have been one of the first companies to benefit from LaunchCode’s revolutionary vision, as we have six developers on staff who came to us from LaunchCode – five have successfully completed their 12-week apprenticeships while a sixth candidate is a month into his – making DataServ one of the top five LaunchCode employers. 

“LaunchCode provided me quite a number of free educational IT resources, including complimentary accounts on sites like Treehouse,” says Brian, who is currently in the midst of his apprenticeship at DataServ. “They also offered personalized help such as one-on-one mentoring during the original coding class in addition to interview advice and suggestions.”

When asked if he felt like he would have gotten his foot in the IT door without LaunchCode, Brian said, “I highly doubt it. My educational background is in the humanities, and my IT work experience is relatively limited. I've tried applying to many entry-level IT jobs on my own with no luck, so I think LaunchCode's help was indispensable.”    

DataServ has proven to be the perfect partner for LaunchCode because our rapidly expanding client base has created great opportunities for creative developers and IT professionals to enhance our cutting edge Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, which are currently used by clients in 48 countries around the globe.

“DataServ has exceeded my expectations,” says Jason, who came to DataServ from LaunchCode in the fall of 2013. “We all work really well together. I also like that we are using current technologies and are able to explore new ones as we see fit. Some companies aren’t so open to this idea.”

LaunchCode is filling a major void that has opened in the tech industry, as the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 1 million U.S. programming jobs will go unfilled by 2020 primarily because there aren’t enough people that meet the rigid qualifications (college degree, 3-5 years of work experience) these positions generally require. Since its inception, LaunchCode has drawn accolades from many, including President Obama, for the over 200 programmers it has helped find meaningful work when they might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

The LaunchCode/DataServ partnership has proven to be a fruitful one, and it is only expected to strengthen and grow in the future. Both parties are happy to provide a place for local tech talent flying below the radar to grow and thrive. 

“Though the tech and startup scene is growing, St. Louis businesses face a threat to their success—they lack the skilled employees required to support their fast-growing technology needs,” says Annie-Rose Fondaw, Communication and Candidate Recruitment Manager at LaunchCode. “At the same time, many St. Louis residents are unemployed, and many more are stuck in low-wage job cycles which leave them struggling to find job opportunities that offer livable salaries, employable skills, and the potential for advancement.

“LaunchCode seeks to solve both of these problems, and partners like DataServ are essential to our success. With six LaunchCode apprentices and counting, DataServ has demonstrated their commitment to creating opportunities for aspiring developers from non-traditional backgrounds."

Adds DataServ Founder/CEO Jeff Haller: “LaunchCode allows fast-growing SaaS companies like DataServ to respond quickly to new opportunities by providing candidates who possess great skills and can hit the ground running. It is really a competitive advantage in the talent war.”

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